The Gen5 has some significant differences to the Gen4, including the Marksman barrel, ambidextrous slide stop lever, improved trigger system, flared magwell and removal of the finger grooves. Each of these changes necessitates some Generation specific accessories for reasons that may surprise you. That is why, three years after the introduction of the Gen5, we are still excited to see new Gen5 accessories being released. And yes, despite the evolution of perfection, there are still lots of room to adapt your Glock to your own requirements.
Glock finger grooves have always been a contentious issue. Shooters either love them or hate them, with some shooters even removing these themselves.
No sooner has Glock removed the finger grooves (which featured on Glocks since Gen3) on the Gen5, than people started looking for ways to bring them back. For this reason, the Hogue Beavertail grip sleeve is proving to be quite a popular item. The sleeve goes up all the way behind the beavertail, maintaining the grip angle and preventing the sleeve from moving around the pistol.
It also makes some sense to include magazine wells when discussing grips, as some people really like the index point that it offers when forming your grip. Magazine wells are most often used on sporting pistols, where quick magazine changes are required, so these are more readily available for full-size pistols. Some manufacturers do offer them for the compact Glock 19's, though, with a very interesting application. Some customers find the magazine cut-out on the front strap of the early Glock 19 Gen5's extremely uncomfortable after prolonged practice and opt for a magazine well to fill that gap.
I find myself checking Magpul's website every so often because they make a very reasonably priced polymer magazine well for generations 3 and 4. Since their design is so compact, it may not make sense on the more flared grips on the Gen5, though. All the better excuse to go for one of our premium magazine wells from Dawson, Toni or ZEV.
The ambidextrous slide stop on the Gen5 is great news for left-handed shooters. While we are still waiting for mainstream companies to release extended versions of these, Glock's own version does not only work great, but is very well priced.
Fortunately, the Gen5 uses the same reversible magazine release already introduced on the Gen4, so we have a number of options available. Most noticeably from Glock themselves, Toni and ZEV.
Technically, the Gen5 doesn't use different sights than the Gen4 so any sight designed for the earlier Glocks will fit. If you are pedantic about your point of impact, though, you may want to read further.
The new Marksman barrel locks up differently to the traditional barrels, influencing your point of impact. If you research Gen5 sight heights you will probably end up more confused than you started, because different people report different heights on their Gen5 models. This is because Glock tests every pistol in the factory and adjust the sight height if needed. This has always been the case and is not unique to Gen5, but the most common height differs between the generations, highlighting this fine point. To my knowledge, Dawson Precision is the only company differentiating not only between generations but also between models within a generation, putting them right on top of my list for competition sights.
Contrary to the Glock 19, on which the recoil system is very similar between generations 4 and 5, the recoil system on the Glock 17 Gen5 is longer than on the Gen4, necessitating a new design. The arrival of our first Eemann Tech Recoil systems for Glock 17 Gen5 is, therefore, big news here at Jizni. Apart from Eemann, we also stock Toni System recoil rods for Glock 17 and 19, and ZEV for Glock 19.
Since generations 4 and 5 already uses a dual spring recoil system, it makes a lot of sense to look at DPM Systems if you want to control recoil better. Their Glock Gen5 systems use three progressive springs and is fully adjustable. This adjustability allows you to select the starting weight of the recoil spring, as well as the rate at which it increases as the slide moves rearward. I am normally quite conservative when describing performance improvements, but after playing with such a system I have no qualms about declaring that it really does make a noticeable difference.
Generation 5 brought some significant improvements to the Glock trigger setup. The firing pin safety now has a triangular ramp, compared to the rounded profile of the previous generations. This should control the force on the trigger bar better, which might account for some of the trigger improvements. The fact that nobody has released an aftermarket firing pin safety for Gen5 to date does seem to confirm that this is a significant improvement. This is good news because it means trigger kits from the likes of Apex and ZEV are actually cheaper for Gen5 than for Gen4.
As with a lot of other things, there are still fewer options available for Gen5 than for Gen4. ZEV, for instance, has not released a fully adjustable Fulcrum for Gen5 yet. The same goes for the trigger spring. Generation 5 uses a totally different trigger spring setup, for which we didn't previously have replacements available. That is until the recent arrival of our Eemann Gen5 spring kits.
No, the Modular Optic System Configuration hasn't changed. The only thing that changed is the nDLC finish on the Gen5 slide. So Glock does offer a Gen5 adapter set, but the difference is only cosmetic and so small that not even we have bothered with it yet.
I have developed a lot of respect for Glock's evolutionary improvement process. Every new Generation sees critics exclaiming that it is more of the same, but a lot of small steps resulted in a formidable end product. Unlike your average consumer products, we expect so much more from our handguns, they get used in so many more roles, tested in so much more demanding conditions and discussed in so much more detail that there is little room for error. But, that is also the reason why it makes so much more sense to customise it to your own requirements. If you are willing to select your ammunition carefully, maintain your Glock meticulously and change service parts more frequently, you can get a lot more out of the same platform.